Patriot missile firing [Photo: Defence Industry Daily]
NATO says its Patriot anti-missile defenses along Syria's border with Turkey will become operational this week.
British Brig. Gen. Gary Deakin said Patriot batteries sent by the United States, Germany and the Netherlands have reached Turkey and are currently being deployed in the south of the country.
"We expect to have an initial operating capability this weekend," Deakin said.
Alliance member Turkey asked NATO in November to urgently deploy the U.S.-made missiles to bolster its defenses to prevent a spillover of Syria's civil war. Syria is believed to have several hundred ballistic surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying chemical warheads.